Electric Vehicle/Robot Sound Synthesiser

EV Synthesiser arrangement in project box.
EV Synthesiser arrangement in project box.


A potential issue for electric vehicles and robotics in general is that they move relatively silently. This can pose safety issues when the vehicle/robot is in close proximity with people.

As an aside to my main UAV research project, the synthesiser explores how sounds can be created that relate to the movement of an electric vehicle or robot.

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MicroView GPS – displaying data




This builds on Project 006a, in which we simply connected a GPS unit to our Microview and checked we were getting some data.  Now to make some sense of that data and display it!

This is a bit of a step-up in terms of code, which is why I have left an intermediate Project 006b available in case I need to retrace.  I’m sure people will let me know..

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MicroView sliders with text labels using RGB LED


It’s possible to draw multiple components of different kinds on the MicroView screen at once.

In this blog, the three inputs to an RGB LED are controlled using pulse width modulation (PWM) signals.  The three sliders are set up with simple labels ‘R’, ‘G’ or ‘B’ to the left.  Each colour is raised to full brightness, then dimmed in sequence.  The sliders show this graphically and display the current PWM value from 0-256 in real time.


Pins referenced in code as 3, 5 and 6 (numerical pins 12 to 14) are capable of PWM on the MicroView.  These are connected to the LED via 330 ohm resistors in the usual way, with the COMMON of the LED connected to pin 8 (GND).


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MicroView Simple Sliders with Potentiometer



MicroView can display 2 kinds of slider:

  1. The slider is positioned to the left of the readout.  This is very compact;
  2. The slider is positioned above the readout.

The sliders can be positioned anywhere on the display and both the minimum and maximum values displayed can be specified. (* note below).

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MicroView Education Kit – first look

I have just received the MicroView Education kit, the result of a Kickstarter project by the team at Geek Ammo and I’m pretty impressed.

Hardware Overview
The hardware is distributed by Sparkfun and essentially comprises the MicroView with the accessories normally included in the (Arduino) Sparkfun Inventors Kit.  There are many tutorials and books that use these components and as the MicroView has the same functionality as the Arduino Uno, they can all be used.


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Arduino blinking LEDs

This project series is a means by which I am testing out the various ways of blogging similar projects easily.  So they are not designed to be instructional as such, more a testbed.  Having said that, if they are useful, feel free to use them and have fun!

Blinking LEDS

What the Project Does:

  • We are going to make 5 LEDs turn on and off, one after the other.

What are we Learning?

  • How to write a simple Arduino sketch, with comments
  • How to allocate input/output pins and set them high or low.
  • How to connect LEDs correctly to the Arduino board.

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Project 001 Simple arduino persistance of vision circuit

I’m just getting back into some Arduino programming after a long break and found this very simple project to create a POV display.  The simple sketch can be found at http://luckylarry.co.uk/arduino-projects/arduino-basic-persistance-of-vision/

I had thought I might use it as a fixture on my Zero electric motorbike to display the word ‘electric’ as I rode passed.  Reviewing the code has been a useful reminder of the very basics, however I think the manufacture of something ‘roadworthy’ does not merit the effort at this time.


What might be a useful excercise if this were to be used with @stemexcel students might be to do with transcribing the required lettering into the code.  Also, some nice calculations could be done with the delays in the code to work out the size of the lettering given a certain speed of travel.

So for future development, some kind of simple wand that can be ‘swished about’ might be needed with the LEDs on it to use as the display.  Worth thinking about I think.